We follow a 'zero to hero' student on a 14-week Fastrack yachtmaster course

Since their introduction a few years ago, ‘Fastrack’ yachtmaster courses have been the focus of a great deal of attention, and criticism. Despite this, the number of courses on offer has continued to grow. With this in mind, Yachting World has decided to follow a student through a Fastrack course to get the inside story.

Until a few weeks ago, 30-year-old Sarah Shepherd was Yachting World’s senior marketing executive. A restless traveller by nature, she’d been thinking about making a change in her life for some time. Now she’s gone ‘back to school’ for a 14-week fast track ‘zero to hero’ Yachtmaster course with Cowes-based school Flying Fish. 

Despite her involvement with Yachting World, Sarah’s sailing experience is limited. She’s spent a couple of weeks sailing dinghies in Minorca, a week on a friend’s 40 footer in the Caribbean, and has sailed aboard a classic gaffer in Les Voiles d’Antibes. So can Flying Fish turn Sarah into a competent Yachtmaster in three and a half months?

At the end of her course Sarah will take two exams: one with the RYA for her Yachtmaster certificate, and one with an independent examiner who will give YW an honest assessment of her skill and competence.

You can follow Sarah’s progress via weekly reports on this website, and upcoming articles in Yachting World.

To read Sarah’s accounts visit this link.